The art of storytelling has evolved leaps and bounds since the rise of social media. Brands are now recognising the potential of social media and view it as something more than just an advertising outlet. We have seen social media marketing services evolve from blatant promotional posts and pushy sales messages to campaigns that cultivated a story with timely and meaningful posts.
Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have a better part of the world to offer social media marketing services as an active user-base. According to Emarsys, there are about 3.2 BILLION daily active social media users. With this in mind, we cannot imagine the number of possibilities that exist for a particular brand looking to engage with their audience. With a strategically crafted narrative, there is nothing a marketer cannot achieve. Brands like Kylie Cosmetics serve social media as their primary mode of business; from launch to active promotion for sales, these brands channelise the power of engagement to scale their businesses.
One of the most powerful features of these social media platforms is stories. The idea initially was made famous by Snapchat and was later picked up by all Facebook-owned platforms including Instagram and Whatsapp. This feature also rolled out on LinkedIn in their latest update and has served as an excellent means to improve engagement. There are several ways a brand can leverage this feature, and we will discuss this in detail later on in the blog but first, let us know a little more about how these stories work and why are they such a suitable means.
Stories are available only for a period of 24-hours and can be viewed on the profile of the user or in the story rollers available on the main feed. These stories are such a useful tool because they are effortless to view and offer a variety of options to be inclusive of the audience, especially Instagram. They help you develop a narrative that is present for a short period and does not interfere with the main feed. The audience can resonate with stories better because of the engagement features it offers and brands leverage this emotional response to influence a person’s intention of buying more strategically. According to Klear, 45% of the brands actively use Instagram stories to increase engagement. However, it can be challenging to navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media, and you must strike the right chord to captivate your audience.
So, let’s discuss a few strategies to help you get more creative with your stories-
What’s better than leveraging the content created by your existing customers to entice new ones, right? Re-posting the stories of your users using your products or services and tagging them to your stories is the perfect way to increase engagement and garner the interest of your targeted audience. This not only entices them to tag you in their stories but also serve as a leverage to get posted on yours. Re-posting your consumer’s stories will also help you in marking your brand as authentic and showcase your values in a much better way. According to the Global Web Index, an average user spends about 3 hours every day on social media and produces content in numbers we cannot even comprehend. Now, leveraging this content is what we need to focus on.
With every event changing its course amidst the coronavirus scare, it has become increasingly challenging to host successful events. But your stories can actively engage your audience and keep the essence of your event alive. With a bar set on the number of attendees, you can now leverage your stories to let everyone get a glimpse of what is happening. For instance, Disney live-updated stories from the Black Panther premiere to let all their fans bring closer to their favourite Avenger. Though this was before the pandemic, the idea can now be more useful than ever.
A significant challenge that social media marketing services face while promoting a brand is keeping its subscribers up-to-date with the new developments of the brand and getting them to try new things. A promotional newsletter in the form of stories is just the thing that will help you get the engagement you need. You can highlight various categories of the products and add links for the users to access them.
A lot of influencers and brands are now doing random “posts of appreciation” or giveaways. The former includes the brand to tag a follower and write a meaningful message to appreciate them and the latter involves the brand to randomly give free products or services to a few of their followers in exchange for tagging a few of their friends to the post. Now, managing to do these over your feed can mess with the aesthetic of your page but doing so over the stories will not only help you retain your aesthetic but also promote your thoughtfulness towards your followers.
Better promote existing products
Now, repetitive posts about a particular product on your feed can be annoying for your audience but, on your stories, it may provide them with a unique experience. There are several ways to promote a product on the story as compared to the feed, and you just have to find the right creative mix for your product. It can be anything from a line of products that will suit the needs in line with the changing weather or some new social development.
Conducting polls on your Instagram stories is something we all do, not just the brands. It’s a simple and fun way to engage more people in getting to know your brand. From simple questions to complex decisions, your followers can save you from a lot of trouble and in return, feel valued as it showcases that their opinion matters. For instance, a particular designer put up the same design in 3 different colours for a dress he intended to make and asked his followers to choose the best colour out of the 3. Another brand simply promoted their new collection by getting their audience to do a poll on if they liked that particular look.
There are numerous ways to increase engagement and promote your products in today’s day and age but keeping up with these ever-evolving trends is imperative for every marketer out there. Leveraging the power of stories in something that will help you get more creative with your brand and explore the interests of your audience. Just keep in mind to check up on the engagement ratings and try to get your audience involved as much as you can by creating creative content.